AFTERBURN REPORT 2007
Nevada Properties / Black Rock Station
Black Rock Station again was host to many work weekends, as well as to artists using the facility to pre-construct structures (e.g., the Temple). The Station continues to evolve, with the addition of over 2000 square feet of concrete pad for the metal shop and well a donated lift for the auto shop.
The auto shop continues to struggle with keeping an aging fleet running. With the addition of new diagnostic equipment and tools, the downtime of fleet vehicles was kept to a minimum. This year over a dozen vehicles were added to the fleet. The auto shop also takes care of the rolling parts on the many travel trailers, cargo trailers and semi trailers used to house workers and move materials. With over 500 wheels to keep inflated, 200 stop [or tail- ?] lights working and all the brakes, springs and couplers to be repaired, trailers alone are a daunting task that our skilled crew makes look easy.
Working on the ranch is offset by the first class Black Rock Social Club. Refurbished over the last few years, the Black Rock did not need much to be ready for the 2007 season. The Social Club opened its doors in early July and was used every night through October. Hosting a dozen computer terminals, wireless hookups, VOIP phones, a big screen television and huge movie library, the saloon is a welcome retreat from the hard work of the desert. The Black Rock Social Club is more than a bar, it is a place where people can relax, do laundry, shower and catch a movie or a game of pool. The BRSC was also used to feed the crew pre- and post- event while the team was still small.
Across the street is the Gerlach Office. Once the town's Post Office, General Store, Water and Power Company it is now it the center of activity as Burning Man takes over the community. Housing several employees all year long, the Gerlach Office is a point of contact for travelers wondering where Black Rock City can be found. The office was a little different this year, with a new enthusiastic "swamp cooler" cooling system causing some to wear jackets and sweaters during the heat of the day.
Not much changed during 2007 in Gerlach. Some of you may have noticed the 60-foot tower looming behind the office holding microwave antennas. This temporary tower was a link to the playa for Internet communications. While the tower worked well, its location proved to be problematic and it should show up at a new location across town next year.
Bruno's Trailer Park again housed the DPW as well as folks from other departments. Filled to maximum capacity, the overflow went to the Gerlach Showers property. Burning Man continues to look towards the future as to how the Showers property will be used. Having scores of folks stay on the Showers site this year illustrated how valuable the property is. The Gerlach Showers and Pool were build many years ago by the citizens of Gerlach, but due to some design issues it never worked out.
The Nevada Properties continue to evolve, and the sense of belonging to the community of Gerlach as well as Black Rock City is growing. Yearlong ties are strengthened with a growing portion of the crew taking up residence in the small town and several crew members are on local and County Boards. Take a look down Main Street for a quick view of how life is the rest of the year.
David Pedroli, Nevada Properties Manager
Sherry Carter, Gerlach Office Manager